Humbaba in the Forest of Cedar

While I was spending my summer holidays in the forest of mosquitoes (Femunden National Park) I read The Epic of Gilgamesh, a wonderful epic – four millenniums old, preserved on clay tablets, in the Sumerian and Akkadian languages (see article in Wikipedia). The story is about the semi-divine king Gilgamesh, who goes on certain adventures with his friend Enkidu: They conquer the dangerous god Humbaba (or Huwawa) in the Forest of Cedar, and they kill the Divine Bull brought upon the land by a sexually frustrated goddess called Ishtar.Humbaba is a powerful god cloaked in seven deadly “auras” (I wonder what the original Sumerian/Akkadian word really meant), but of course our heroes manage to defeat the god. It struck me while reading the story, that the deadly cloaks or auras would have been highly efficient against mosquitoes. Me, my wife, and our dog Umberto, were at times heavily attacked by clouds of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. A divine and deadly cloak would surely have helped us.

Another problem we met, at our walk to my favourite place in Femunden, was a (seemingly) endless fields of rocks (Norwegian: “blokkmark”). A 1.5 kilometers (4–5 thousand feet) distance took us five hours… On our return we chose to walk a few hundred feet more north in exactly the same direction, and guess what: It took two hours calm walking in much more comfortable terrain… Now, it is time to mark the map properly for the next expidition!

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